Feb. 20, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Whether rebounding or scoring -- or both -- Quincy Acy put the Baylor Bears (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) on his strong shoulders and carried them to a big victory.
Acy had 22 points and 16 rebounds and provided the key scoring punch down the stretch to push the Bears to a tough 77-72 win over Texas on Monday night.
Baylor rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half and Acy scored seven straight points to give the Bears a five-point lead with under 3 minutes to play. Johnathan Holmes made a 3-pointer to pull Texas within 71-70 before Pierre Jackson made six consecutive free throws to put the game away for Baylor (23-5, 10-5 Big 12).
J'Covan Brown, scored 18 to lead the Longhorns (17-11, 7-8), but had a critical turnover with 12 seconds left that prevented Texas from shooting for a tie.
Brady Heslip scored 12 for Baylor and helped spark the Bears' rally with three 3-pointers in the second half.
While Heslip started the rally, it was Acy who refused to let Baylor lose this one. His powerful moves in the post and tough rebounding took over the game while the Bears are still looking for standout forward Perry Jones III to shake off his scoring slump.
Baylor shot just 40 percent but Acy grabbed eight offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive and went 8 of 11 from the free throw line.
"The toughness and leadership he's brought our team is off the charts," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
Jones scored 10 and gave Baylor its first lead of the second half at 56-55. Acy took over in the final five minutes giving the Bears a 65-63 lead with 4:45 to play.
Jackson put the game away at the free throw line, coolly swishing six straight shots down the stretch. Jackson was 12 of 12 from the line and Baylor was 24 of 29 as a team.
Texas still had a chance to get it to overtime or play for a win in the final seconds. After Jackson made two free throws to make it 73-70 with 28 seconds left, Brown dribbled into a double team on the perimeter, then fired a wild pass that was picked off by Baylor's A.J. Walton.
"They had a good trap on the ball. A.J. read it perfectly," Jackson said.
The loss comes at a tough time for the Longhorns who are still trying to boost their resume for the NCAA tournament. They have lost eight games by six points or less this season.
Texas had won four in a row before ur dropped a road defeat at Oklahoma State over the weekend. The Longhorns seemed to be catching Baylor at just the right time with their return home. Baylor had lost three of four.
But the Bears were also looking to break out of a late-season swoon.
"We had to come down here, really just dig deep and not give up," Acy said. "Just because we lost a couple of games doesn't mean the season's over," Acy said.
Texas shot 50 percent in the first half and led 36-26 at halftime. The Longhorns held Baylor to 28 percent shooting and just seven total field goals in the half.
Texas threatened to turn the game into a rout early in the second when Brown, the Big 12's leading scorer, made a quick catch-and-shoot 3-pointer. But the Bears hung around behind a 3-point shooting burst from Heslip, who made three in the first five minutes of the half, with the last cutting the lead to 46-39.
"You can't give up wide open 3s to a guy that's all he does," Texas coach Rick Barnes said.
That flurry kept the Bears close and they eventually caught up. A 3-pointer by Gary Franklin cut the Texas lead to 55-54 and Baylor took its first lead since early in the first half with 7 minutes left.
Acy scored seven in a row in that helped push the Bears to a 70-65 lead when he finished tough left-handed layup, drew a foul and made the free throws. Baylor had a chance for the basket because he had grabbed his 15th rebound of the night to help the Bears keep the ball.
Texas freshman guard Myck Kabongo called it a "devastating" loss. Senior forward Clint Chapman said he doesn't know what it means for the Longhorns' NCAA tournament hopes with three games left in the regular season.
"As far as any future endeavors, I haven't personally thought about it," Chapman said. "It just hurts. We've lost so many by a possession or two."